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Off-Season Workouts Begin, With One Glaring Absence

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While it sure is fun to live in the world of hypotheticals, sometimes it becomes nesessary to sprinkle in a bit of real life.  Here's the latest and greatest from Denver's first day of Off-season Workouts.

Wilson A No-Show -- While the workouts are "voluntary" it has become well known that Mike Shanahan "prefers" that his players work out in the off-season together. One glaring absence from the workouts was Al Wilson, whose status with the team is still in "flux".

Peter Schaffer, Wilson's agent, repoprted Wilson was spending time with his son in Atlanta for Spring Break.  Convenient that Atlanta was also host of the Final Four.  None of it matters, since Wilson is not required to be at the workouts anyway.  Both sides are claiming Wilson's absence has nothing to do with his status on the team, but I think it's safe to say you can read between the lines.  Wilson is a team leader, for players on both sides of the ball, and has led by example.  If everything was hunky-dorey between the team and #56 he'd be in Denver right now.

Domonique Foxworth, who is quickly becoming one of the more vocal Broncos, is quickly learning what the NFL is all about -- "It's a wake-up call to everybody. It tells you everybody is expendable in this business, and the business part of the game comes before the team and unity part.  I don't think you can find anybody in this organization to say a bad thing about Al's character or him as a man. I don't think anybody in this organization would say that we're better off without his personality around. But because of whatever reasons, they felt we'd be better off going in a different direction."

It still remains to be seen how the situation will play out, but it looks more and more like Wilson ahs played his final snap in Denver.

Bly Happy, Blessed -- After the Broncos traded George Foster and Tatum Bell to the Detroit Lions for Dre' Bly, repoprts surfaced that Bly was pissed about the trade, wanting instead to get moved to his hometown Washington Redskins.  From the beginning, Shanny said that he was confident Bly would change his mind once he visited Denver, was around the team, yadda, yadda.  Well, Shanny was right, though $33 million can help persuade a guy.  Bly spoke to the media for the first time about the trade in Denver yesterday, and both he and his wife seem excited.

"I thought that's what the league is - winning," Bly said. "I have that same feeling again.  Spending the past four years in Detroit, it was like in the bottom of the barrel, here, a 9-7 season won't be tolerated. There, 9-7, 10-6 is a great season. I am excited to be at a place that expects to win."

Nothing like a parting shot to the nuts of Matt Millen and the Lions, but what's true is true.  As for his wife, "I fell in love," Kristyn Bly said of her arrival in Denver. "I already love it here."

Broncos Open Pre-Season On MNF -- The NFL loves to keep us waiting.  Last week they released the Opening Weekend and Thanksgiving Day matchups.  Yesterday, it was the Pre-Season schedule, which features the Broncos on primetime to open the pre-season slate.  Pre-Season opponents include --

 August 13 @ San Francisco(ESPN) -- The Broncos open their 2007 pre-season at Monster Park in San Francisco against the team that kept them out of the play-offs last season.  Like Denver, the Forty-Niners have spent a boatload of money in hopes of speeding up their progress towards repectibility.  It is the only nationally-televised pre-season game featuring the Broncos.

 August 16-20 @ Dallas(KCNC-4) -- The Broncos visit another old friend in pre-season game number 2, heading to the Lonestar state to face Wade Phillips and the Dallas Cowboys.  The Broncos last faced Dallas on Thanksgiving Day 2005, beating the Cowboys in OT.  It is always fun seeing these two team matchup, even if it is an exhibition.

 August 23-27 Vs. Cleveland(KCNC-4) -- The pre-season game that most simulates a regular season affair has the Broncos coming home for the first time, facing the Cleveland Browns who will no doubt have a dynamic offensive talent.  Whether the Browns draft Adrian Peterson, Brady Quinn or even Calvin Johnson, they are surely to be featured in Week 3 of the preseason as the Browns are under pressure to start showing progress under embattled Head Coach Romeo Crennel

 August 31-Spetember 2 Vs. Arizona(KCNC-4) -- In what has become a right of pre-season passage for the Broncos, they once again face the Arizona Cardinals to wrap up the pre-season. The goal here is just to get everyone through the game healthy and ready for the start of the season.  We'll talk much more about the pre-season as we roll through the summer, but wiht Jay Cutler needing as many reps as possible it is safe to say we will see much more of the first-teamers this pre-season than we did in the past under Jake Plummer.